The Capstone School's progressive education underpinned by focus on nature and outdoors
Research shows this approach improves children’s psychological and physical wellbeing
The Capstone School is a Reggio Emilia-inspired progressive school, situated in two grand, charming homes, in a beautiful, tranquil setting in the upper avenues of Walmer.
The school, which caters for learners aged three to Grade 7, follows the Reggio approach to learning which values exploration, play, the arts and — most significantly — nature and the outdoors.
“Nature improves children’s psychological and physical wellbeing — and that impacts learning,” say experts Ming Kuo, Michael Barnes and Catherine Jordan in their article, Do Experiences With Nature Promote Learning? Converging Evidence of a Cause-and-Effect Relationship. “But it also seems to affect how they attend to and engage in the classroom, how much they can concentrate, and how well they get along with teachers and peers.”
Research among primary school learners has also shown that, in comparison with peers who attended more mainstream schools, “those who’d attended school outside had significantly stronger reading and writing skills...and reported feeling more excited about school because of the experience”.
At The Capstone School, learners can often be found constructing their own maps and treasure hunts outside in an effort to consolidate their geography lessons on scale and compass directions.
History lessons might look like constructing your own Khoisan village from materials found in nature; looking for acute and obtuse angles in nature in a geometry lesson, or working with estimated and actual numbers of objects found outside.
Teaching across the grades is theme-based, facilitating the deliberate integration of the outdoors into a CAPs-aligned curriculum.
Reggio Emilia-inspired learning follows an emergent curriculum whereby learning objectives are moulded by the teacher and children’s interests and contexts (environment and circumstances).
The teacher functions primarily as an observer and facilitator of learning, encouraging learners in exploration, problem-solving, co-operation, creativity and critical thinking.
Learning is heralded as an integrated process, making visible the links between the languages and the arts, into social and natural sciences.
For more information about The Capstone School, to apply for admission or inquire about our open day dates, phone 041 581 1923, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.thecapstoneschool.co.za.
This article was paid for by The Capstone School.